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A Guide to PPE for Engineering Managers

Posted June 23rd, 2020

Personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a big role in workplace safety. It minimizes an employee’s exposure to certain hazards, reducing overall risk.

Engineering managers do have some responsibilities when it comes to PPE. If you want to make sure you understand what is required, here’s a quick guide to PPE for engineering managers.

Management’s PPE Responsibilities

By and large, when PPE is required at a job site, the employer has to make it available at no cost to the employee. Usually, this means either have a supply at the worksite that can support workers’ needs or covering the cost to ensure the employee has no out-of-pocket burden. In the latter situation, reimbursements, vouchers, and similar programs may be suitable.

This requirement is typically on-going. If PPE succumbs to wear and tear, leading it to no longer meet the minimum standards, then the company needs to replace the item accordingly. However, if the employee intentionally damages PPE or loses an item in good repair, the worker may be responsible for the replacement cost.

Types of PPE You Need to Make Available

Precisely which kind of PPE you need to make available varies depending on the physical environment. Additionally, there may be additional considerations over the next few months, especially those involving COVID-19, that could lead to other forms of PPE being wise to offer.

In general, safety glasses, hard hats, and high-visibility safety vests are smart starting points. However, you may also need to ensure that other forms of PPE are available, including:

    • Chemical Splash Goggles
    • Face Shields
    • Gloves
    • Hearing Protection
    • Industry-Specific Protective Clothing (FR Clothing, Welding Leathers, etc.)
    • Respiratory Protection

In some cases, employers also have to provide safety shoes. There is some debate regarding a few of the various conditions relating to when a company does or does not have to handle this expense. However, it is important to understand that there are situations where covering that cost is mandatory, including if the employer requires workers to not take the footwear home, if the footwear is meant to address specific kinds of hazards present in the workplace, and similar conditions.

Additionally, while COVID-19 is a concern, making medical masks available could also be a good idea. These could help limit the spread of the virus in your workplace and give your team peace of mind.

Items Management Doesn’t Have to Cover

It is important to note that managers aren’t responsible for all workplace attire-based regardless of the requirements. For example, even if you make long-sleeve shirts mandatory for safety purposes, the company doesn’t have to handle that cost.

Weather-related clothing items also don’t have to be covered. Even if your employees work outdoors, raincoats, parkas, sunglasses, sunscreen, and other weather-protection items are the employee’s responsibility.

Lifting belts don’t have to be provided by the employer either. Mainly, this is because there is some debate regarding the effectiveness of lifting belts when it comes to protecting the back.

Call Our Team Today to Learn More About PPE

If you’d like to learn more about PPE, the team at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us to speak with one of our workplace safety specialists today and see how our PPE knowledge can benefit you.

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